Tag Archives: The Rum Cake Runner

Writing Assistant Monday: NaNoWriMo, Begins!



I’m working on two projects for this year’s NaNoWriMo (a competition to complete 50,000 new words during the month of November). First, I’m finishing up the 2nd draft of my upper MG novel based on my short story “The Rum Cake Runner,” then I’ll be tackling the beginning of a brand new YA based on my bootcamp story, currently titled Discovering Justice. November is traditionally a very hard month at work, but writing comes slightly easier to me now than it ever has, so I’m hopeful that I’ll actually win (finish) this year.

The cats, as you can tell, are very supportive of my goals. IMG_1904.JPG


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Writer’s Blog Tour: Four* Questions

I was recently tagged in a writing blog tour by A.T. Greenblatt. Check out her answers, and click through some of her links to see how other writers have answered these same 4 questions.

Bonus: If you read to the end, there’s a writing assistant picture. If you cheat and scroll to the end: well, I’ll never actually know, will I?

What am I working on? 

I’m currently working on making my short story, “The Rum Cake Runner,” into a middle grade novel. I’m about 3/4 of the way through the first, very rough draft, and hope to finish and send it out to first readers in the next few weeks.

How does my work differ from others in the genre? 

I tend to enjoy writing only slightly speculative fiction, focusing on everyday, normal interactions. I like my science fiction and fantasy to flavor and inform my fictional worlds, but not be the main focus. In the SFF community, this doesn’t seem to be in vogue currently, though it’s common in middle grade/young adult lit. So I suppose whether or not it differs depends on where I’m lumped!

Why do I write what I do? 

I enjoy writing MG/YA I think because that’s when I really, truly fell in love with reading. As a young girl in a small community, books let me travel outside of my family, state, country, world. They taught me about myself and, by taking me into perspectives that were so different than my own, they taught me compassion for the Other. And they were fun!

I want to recreate those same sorts of experiences for readers–young and old.

How does my writing process work?

If only I knew!

I tend to know at least my beginning and ending, and if I can, I outline the middle.

In the current WIP, I have a pretty specific outline that I’m following, and I add scenes and chapters here and there as necessary. I have to say, it’s worked really well. I’m writing quickly. I know where I’m going next. I kind of love it!

The blank page is the hardest part for me, so my first draft of things are very, very badly done. I won’t let anyone see them, ever. But once they’re done, I edit to a point that I think they can be read by someone else and send it out to first readers. From there I revise again, and maybe send it out again if I don’t think I’ve nailed the story. After that next revision, I’ll start sending it out to markets or let it sit in a (virtual) drawer for awhile until I know how I feel about it.

*And an added question of my own: What’re you currently reading?

In my newest, never-ending quest to read ALL THE MIDDLE GRADES, I’m about to start Claire Legrand’s The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls. Have you read it?



Ta da! That’s it. I’m tagging fellow former bootcamper and current YA-novel-in-progress-ess, Julie Whipple.

Caveat: I had been dragging my feet on this little project for a few days, because I don’t have a lot of writer friends that I speak with regularly, especially of the blogging variety. So if you’re a writer friend and you’d like to participate, drop me a note? I’ll gladly tag you.


Now…as promised:

Cat face!

Cat face!

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The Rum Cake Runner’s Poem

Ok. If you haven’t been over to Crossed Genres Magazine to read my first-ever published story, “The Rum Cake Runner,” please go do so. It’s short. It’s (hopefully) fun. I’m immensely proud of it.

And while you’re there, read the other stories from the December issue. They’re great.

And in case you need a teaser, below is the entire story in a short poem. (In my Spotlight Author Interview I talk a bit about how sometimes I outline in verse. Because I’m strange. And I like to rhyme.) SPOILERS ahead.


Round and through old asian ladies, shopping

totes full to the brim, a wee olive-skinned

boy with a stash quit two lawmen bopping

along in his trail. The goons twisted, pinned

by the contraband-scenting mutts they held

tight on eLeash. The market browsers thinned

deliberately lagging, letting boy meld

into the bustling horde of produce

bazaar. The pigs and their dogs, not dispelled,

came yet, flashing badge and fang to induce

rabble to move, which they did, albeit

still slowly. Success! Small runner reduced

to a speck in the crowd. The cops credit

was met so they stopped and groaned a fake sigh

over the missed lad, his bootleg packet

of sweet goods. Their mock chase, their outcry,

crooked– for they knew the baker’s young son

needed precinct sweet teeth (and cash) to buy

the final cannoli and cream saffron

cakes. He would swing by them last to be sure

that he took home his pastry bag barren

                                                            and his pockets full.

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